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Unmasked [Kindle Edition]

Virginia Henley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Thirteen years ago, Alex Greysteel Montgomery, an Earl and double agent-now working to restore King Charles II to the throne-was betrothed to the impetuous Velvet Cavendish. Their parents saw the engagement as a business opportunity-and although Greysteel has always had an affinity for Velvet, she has not returned his affections.

Once reunited with Greysteel, Velvet is determined to break their bond-for she has her sights set on none other than King Charles II himself. But Greysteel is equally determined to wed the fiery beauty who has stirred him like no other. Now he'll do anything to conquer-and rule-her heart.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 465 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (6 Sept. 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #473,800 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I write lush and lusty historical romance. My heroes are dark, dominant, and dangerous, with a hint of the lurking bastard inside them. Then I create a heroine who is a match for them, or more than a match!
I have written over 30 novels, and am a NYTimes bestselling author. The first time I made that list with Seduced, I climbed on the roof and shouted it to the world!
I was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England and emmigrated to Canada when I was twelve. I married a Canadian and about twenty years ago we moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. I have two handsome sons, two outstanding grandsons, one beautiful granddaughter, and a perfect great-granddaughter.
The first line of my bestselling novel, The Pirate And The Pagan, defined my career: "What a beautiful cock!"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly beautiful 12 Aug. 2013
By julie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book, I found it very hard to put down and just wanted to keep reading. It was such an enjoyable read and a beautiful love story combined with true friendship that lasts over time whilst full of historical details as well.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A bit flat! 21 Feb. 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is ok, but can be frustrating as there seems to be little in ways of a plot...certainly not her best book.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing plot! 30 Aug. 2006
By T.J.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book a while ago, and even though I cannot remember exactly what happened when in the book, I can remember the feeling that I had when I finished it. This is one of those books that you just fall in love with the characters and you just want to keep on reading. I found this plot to be very realistic and interesting to read. The characters themselves were also very well developed and it was very easy to follow them through the story. I really did enjoy this story, it's got a great unique plot, the characters are 'deep' and interesting and I feel that the author has a really great immagination.

Unlike the other romance novels this novel has the male lead character as the one desperately in love with the female lead character, which is quite an interesting twist.

I think this is a book for anyone who enjoys reading romance novels.

I wish I could say more but for now all I can say is 5 stars all the way!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henley Strikes Pure Gold ! 1 Sept. 2005
By M. Rondeau - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Setting - Nottingham Castle, 1644 -- At the age of thirteen, Robert Greysteel Montgomery was not at all enamored by the seven year Elizabeth Cavendish he was being betrothed to. Though he did think she had the face of an angel he would also, on that day vow, she was the imp of Satan as he observed firsthand her precocious-ness and later as she announced she was changing her name to Velvet and would no longer respond to the name Elizabeth.

Velvet, at age seven, wanted only to marry Robert's best friend Charles, who would one day be King of England, but her mother was able to convince her to behave at the betrothal and vowed that Robert would protect and always keep her safe. That seemed to placate her and the betrothal was signed and sealed.

Thirteen long and tumultuous years later, Greysteel has been operating as a double agent working to restore King Charles II to the throne. Velvet and her family had been living abroad having lost their properties, as had most Royalists loyal to the Charles. When Velvet returns to England they are reunited and Greysteel is immediately ready to marry Velvet. Though Velvet is definitely attracted to the handsome cavalier, she isn't quite so ardent in her affections - still holding a special place in her heart for Charles. Greysteel, on the other hand, a master strategist, approaches the courting of Velvet as another battle to win - but though Velvet may allow herself to be caught, her heart would be another matter.

*** I am once again in awe at the brilliant way that this author can weave fiction into and around the rich historical background that she sets her characters into. Greysteel and Velvet are both crafted as headstrong individuals portrayed bigger than life and their story is filled with love and a powerful passion. Make no mistake - Velvet the precocious child who needed her arse tanned grew to a be force to be reckoned with and it would be Greysteel alone who had the insight to realize that behind Velvet's precocious behavior and willful defiance masked the delicate and fragile vulnerability that he came to love. The author depicts that while their passions were all consuming, it wasn't enough, as she gives us that one glorious and defining moment where both are willing to risk all to prove their love for one another in this marvelous romantic epic. Henley once again does a masterful job in transporting the reader smack dab in the middle of the time period, enfolding all the drama, and all the passion in her characters that only this true master of the historical genre can create. Once again, Henley strikes pure gold in UNMASKED. - Marilyn, for [...] ---
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She's Done It Again... 8 Sept. 2005
By Amy Cunningham - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
UNMASKED - Virginia Henley


ISBN: 0-451-21627-X

September 2005

Historical Romance

Saint-Germain, France; Scotland; London, England - 1644 and 1657

The domineering Oliver Cromwell rules England and no one is happy, especially those of the royal Stuart court. Forced to bend to his will and adopt the less-than-luxurious lifestyle the Protectorate enforces - attending church three times a week, wearing dull garments, and having absolutely no fun whatsoever - London citizens are more than ready for their rightful monarch to be returned to his throne. Change is in the air, and Charles II lies in wait, forced into exile after the murder of his father, Charles I.

No one knows the hardship of exile in France better than Elizabeth "Velvet" Cavendish. Raised by doting parents, Velvet now wears ratty clothes that barely fit, and is able to eat only enough to stay alive, yet she lives in anticipation of her beloved monarch returning to the throne of England. Childhood friends, Velvet fondly recalls many good memories of the handsome Charles. She fell in love with the then prince and prayed that he would marry her; and even as she nurses her ailing mother, Velvet holds on to that one great wish - to marry the man of her dreams, Charles. Instead, she is betrothed to Robert Greysteel Montgomery, yet another friend to the Stuart prince.

With a stroke of luck, Velvet is able to return to her beloved England under the tutelage of a distant relation, Christian Cavendish, the Dowager Countess of Devonshire. Now Velvet may take up her rightful life as the daughter of an earl, and live accordingly. Velvet is quite beautiful and is sure to ensnare some rich gent into marriage, but one man stands in her way - Greysteel Montgomery, who has returned to England as well. Now a double agent, his greatest goal is to see Charles II back on the throne. Greysteel cannot believe his eyes when he sees Velvet again. He remembers the little hellion quite well, and is startled to see the girl has transformed into a stunningly sensuous woman. By God, he'll have her or die trying...

Oh what a tangled web we weave... Greysteel wants Velvet and will stop at nothing to make her his. Velvet cannot deny her passion for Greysteel, and that's when she becomes confused. Her head tells her she wants Charles, but her body cries out for Greysteel.

Virginia Henley's love for history shines in UNMASKED. Velvet is more than a match for Greysteel, and Greysteel is just the man to tame Velvet and show her that her passionate nature can be better used than in battles of will. Her time back on British soil is well spent, and Velvet becomes quite adept in attracting and seducing a man, particularly Greysteel. Although an innocent, Velvet is a quick learner and it's not long before she's matching his barbs word for word and enchanting him even more. Greysteel can see the softer side of Velvet and knows that her precociousness hides a gentler nature that many don't see. Greysteel will never forget that he wasn't Velvet's first choice, but can he make her his own before it's too late?

Fans will be interested to know that Velvet Cavendish is a descendent of the heroine of Ms. Henley's A WOMAN OF PASSION, Bess Hardwick; UNMASKED, however, stands alone very well. The Restoration period is brought to life by the talented pen of Virginia Henley. Many true-to-life historical characters make appearances, from Charles II himself, to Barbara Villiers, the woman who was arguably Charles's favorite mistress. Set against the backdrop of Charles appointment to the throne, Velvet and Greysteel's romance remains the main focus in UNMASKED. If not treated by a deft hand, they might have gotten lost in the muddle of historical facts and events that were added for a more vivid texture to this very colorful history. Some may call Virginia Henley's writing historical fiction, but the proof that this woman still loves the romance fiction genre is between the pages in UNMASKED.

Add UNMASKED to your fall reading list and prepare to be enthralled!

Amy Cunningham

Romance Reviews Today
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensuous, lush and interesting 22 Oct. 2005
By D. Lane - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book had everything you need to create a good romance: a dashing hero, a beautiful feisty heroine, someone who always seems to interfere with the hero and heroine, and, most of all...PASSION! The love scenes are ample & steamy, and the plot is a diffrent. The plot was interesting and it kept you interested in what was going to happen next. Unmasked has a strong (but not obnoxious) heroine who is in no way ordinary, a back story which is compelling but doesn't get in the way of the love story, and of course a wonderful hero. The reader will feel the despair, the heartbreak, passion and the joy of Elizabeth "Velvet" Cavendish and Robert "Graysteel" Montgomery in this very excellent character driven romance. I found the characters to be multi-dimensional. All I can say in conclusion is if you like a good, emotional, heart-tugging historical, with characters that leap off the pages, buy Unmasked.

The thing that dragged this story were all the bloody misunderstandings. Uugh I hate when books do that. I enjoyed this book but it could have been better.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A total disappointment !!! 6 Sept. 2005
By Readaholic - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I waited so much time for the realease of this book that it has been a total disapointing.

The book it's about Elisabeth Cavendish,Velvet, great-grandaughter of the notorious Bess Hardwick but so different!! Mrs. Henley tries to compare them but it's absurd! Bess was a mature, self-assured, ambitious and intelligent, a GREAT WOMAN, and she was four years younger when she got married her first time. On the other hand Velvet is 20 years old and she is not only totally inmature but is totally STUPID. She is so obsesed for the King, who obviously ignores her, that her relationship with her husband is failing. She avoids that her husband controls her and shows a total lack of character for a 20years old person.

Greysteel has nothing in common to the other strong famous characters of Virginia Henley save his EXTREMELY good looking. He is too much dominant for his sake even in their sexual relations. He is selfish, mad with jealousy and obsesed with trust. Greysteel accuses her all the time for her lack of trust but he doesn't confy in her at all!! He tries to convince us that he's strong but really he's weak and hides his weakness by controling everybody.

The historic setting is awful. It's totally centered in King Charles and his lover Barbara.

Mrs. Henley, once again, writes about the pox, and like in the other books ("the pirate and the pagan", "insatiable", "desired"), the main characters survive. Just to say that it's very predictable, boring and not interesting. I love Mrs.Henley writing but this one is really bad and I think that she should look back to her old books because this one has been a total disappointment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unmasked Is A Winner!!! 10 Jan. 2006
By Kristi Ahlers - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Henley the queen of the sensual historical romances has penned another worthy effort. "Unmasked" is a thrill a minute read with a sassy heroine readers will cheer!

Elizabeth "Velvet" Cavendish knows what she wants and at the ripe old age of seven, it is Charles the future King of England. She is not interested in the slightest to Greysteel, the boy she has been betrothed to. But, life for this young girl is going to change...drastically. She is going to go into exile with her family and it will be years later before she will set eyes on Greysteel. When these two meet again sparks will fly and attraction will smolder but nothing will be easy between them.

Robert Greysteel Montgomery is a Royalist and double agent working to get his best friend Charles back on the throne. When he runs into his betrothed the sassy spitfire instantly charms him and he will not set aside the bethrothal no matter what Velvet thinks or wants. But, passion cannot be denied and these two are powerless to stop the events that are about to sweep them along. A fight for the crown, and a war to be waged with Velvet's heart as the reward are just a few things these two strong and passionate people will have to deal with before they can find their happy ending.

No one can right historical romances like Ms. Henley. She has a very distinctive voice, which is an asset to the genre. Velvet and Greysteel are dynamic characters and their romance will keep the reader enthralled until the final page is read. This is a must read for fans of historical romance.
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